As I write this, we are past our third week of a month-long enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) to slow down the spread of the COVID-19 virus. For many people, this quarantine experience is a nightmare. Tensions run high and paranoia hits everyone when they go out just to do basic activities like going to the market and buying medicines.
In all this rush of emotions, have you reflected on your quarantine experience?
Why is this important? Because when all of this is over, and it will be over, your experience during these tough times may well define your attitude in the future.
Remember David when he had that crisis with his first son with Bathsheba? Well that was a very tough time for him. God was going to take his son because of his sins. You can read the whole story in 2 Samuel 12.
Because of his sin, God took away David’s firstborn with Bathsheba. Before it happened, David pleaded with God not to push through with the penalty. He fasted and lay all night on the ground. His elders went to him to persuade him to rise up and eat. But he would not. This went on for seven days…until the child died.
When David heard that the child was dead, he surprised his people when he rose up, washed and anointed himself and asked for food. David then went to the house of the Lord and worshipped. This was not what they were expecting.
David explained in 2 Samuel 12:22-23, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, ‘Who knows? The Lord may be gracious to me and let the child live.’ But now that he is dead, why should I go on fasting? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.”
I believe that during those seven days that his firstborn with Bathsheba was fighting for its life, he was also reflecting on his actions that led to his tragic situation. After all of these events, David came out a better person.
So how about you? In your quarantine experience, have you been reflecting on your situation? Have you become…
A BETTER or MORE BITTER PERSON?
Depending on your political inclination, the news of the recent days will either fuel you with negativity and hate, fear and anxiety, or gratefulness and compassion. Reflect honestly on your attitude today upon hearing or watching infection numbers rising, the political left and right bickering, or the unfair treatment being felt by the poor and middle class. How do you feel? Did your reaction to the events around you made a better person? Or did it make you bitter and resentful? Our reaction to our situation says a lot about our character. That is why we need to focus on Jesus. Taking our eyes off Him will lead us astray.
Billy Graham said, “It’s not wrong to want to become a better person, nor is it wrong to set goals for ourselves. Ask God to help you discover His goals for your life—beginning with your commitment to Jesus Christ. Then turn to Him each day, and seek His help to become the person He wants you to be.”
PRAYERFUL OR RESENTFUL?
In the weeks that you were in quarantine and scrolling through your social media feed and reading all sorts of opposing posts and comments, did it ever occur to you to pray about the situation? Or did you join in the chorus of the people who have the same ideology as yours resenting and ranting at anyone who does not align with what you believe in? Our newsfeeds must have seen many people urging us to pray for our leaders, did you pray? If you agreed that prayer is the answer and the issue means so much to you, why not go to your prayer closet now and tell God what you think?
Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:6, “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” Don’t just put a praying emoji 🙏 on your social media posts. Really pray!
Our reaction to our situation says a lot about our character. That is why we need to focus on Jesus.
A STRONGER CHRISTIAN OR A WEAKER ONE?
Three or four weeks in quarantine should have given you a lot of time to pray, read your Bible, study it, and have a stronger relationship with and knowledge of your Savior. But sad to say, many binge-watched on their favorite TV series on Netflix or debated for hours and hours with those who oppose their views in social media.
As of this writing, the ECQ has been extended until the end of April 2020. I pray that more of us will make an effort to peel away from their smartphone or computer, and return to their first love. Dust off your Bible, start reading your favorite verse. Reconnect with your creator and tune out the world outside for an hour. Meditate on the Word of God. Let the Holy Spirit talk to you and most importantly, listen.
We need to have a more meaningful and intimate time with Jesus. And time is what we have now whether you like it or not. Reflect on what is happening today and meditate on how it affects your character. Let us make the most of it and become a better, prayerful and stronger Christian.